Investing.com – The dollar traded lower against a basket of major currencies as US bond yields eased from four-year highs amid Federal Reserve jawboning on the need to be cautious on further rate hikes.
The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback’s strength against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies, fell 0.38% to 89.69.
The US 10-year yields fell ahead of new debt issuance and comments from St. Louis Fed President James Bullard, pressuring the dollar to give up some of its gains which followed the FOMC minutes Wednesday.
Bullard told CNBC on Thursday that central bankers need to be careful not to raise rates too quickly this year because that could slow the economy amid expectations that other central banks are poised to hike rates this year which could restrict the Fed’s gradual approach to rate hikes.
Upbeat labour market data, meanwhile, added little support to the greenback as the U.S. Department of Labor reported that initial jobless claims fell by 8,000 to a seasonally adjusted 222,000 for the week ended Feb. 17 above forecasts for unchanged reading.
The slump in the dollar benefited both the pound and the euro as the latter recovered from somewhat dovish European Central bank minutes.
The ECB’s minutes showed that the central bank continued to believe that patience and persistence was needed as inflation remained weak and agreed that it was “premature” to adjust forward guidance.
USD/JPY fell 0.83% to Y106.88, while USD/CAD rose 0.01% to C$1.2706. The loonie came under pressure following data showing retail sales fell well short of forecasts, stoking investor expectations that the Canadian economy has cooled somewhat.
TD Securities said Thursday's negative retail sales print supports its call for “only two rate hike in 2018,” with the next hike expected as late as July given that the economy has “clearly cooled” and that the medium-term economic outlook is facing several domestic headwinds.
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